In March 2015, Ugandan people speaking four different languages — Lubwisi, Lugungu, Lugwere, and Lunyole — gathered to celebrate the completion of New Testament drafts into each of these languages, the languages of their birth, their mother tongues.
The celebration was a day of great importance because the people speaking these languages would soon be able to lay aside the Bibles they’d borrowed from neighboring languages that they often don’t speak or understand well (foreign languages, really) and hear God speak to them in the one language they truly understand.
The translators chose to commemorate the occasion with memorial stones like the ones the Israelites of the Old Testament set up after God rolled back the waters of the Jordan River and allowed them to walk across on dry land (Joshua, chapter 4). During the celebration, each translator lifted up a stone bearing the name of his language.
An observer said, “The smiles on the translators’ faces reflected the joy of celebration and the sense of accomplishment, as well as the anticipation of the forthcoming publication of God’s Word in their language.”
The translators have prayerfully checked each verse and chapter of the New Testament to make sure it is accurate, clear and natural. They’ve sent the books off to the publishers and now they wait for the day when they will present the completed Books to their people. Soon, an additional 900,000 people (the total population from these four groups) will be able to listen to God and respond to him in the language that reflects the intimate longings and joys of their hearts and souls.